A rare fuzz, which is hard to come by even on the collectors market – sought after by many guitarists. It was introduced in the 70s and made popular by Steve Albini from Shellac. This fuzz, which can softly blend into distortion, is a result of an interesting combination of silicon and germanium transistors and the recognizable diode clipping. The set of knobs is quite unique – we can regulate BALANCE (which corresponds to parameters traditionally attributed to LEVEL) and HARMONICS which affects the sound character and the level of sound articulation. As opposed to other classic pedals of similar type there is no saturation control. The basic sound of Harmonic Percolator* is interesting in itself and quite different from other fuzz pedals. I would dare to say that it would please even those who do not consider themselves fans of the fuzz sound. When the HARMONICS knob is rolled down the tone is soft and articulate, while at its maximum it becomes powerful and dirty, preserving the bass range.
I have built the effect pedal with hi-end components, the core elements being a carefully selected pair of MP16B and 2N3904 transistors and original military 1N695 diodes. Why have I decided to use MP16B instead of the original 2N404? This transistor is the direct equivalent of 2N404, but it has a significantly lower level of noise which makes the unit more accessible. We get the same tone, but with reduced noise and more clarity. My own modification, which the pedal really called for, is a three-position switch which can select two clipping modes or turn it of completely. We can choose between the stock germanium 1N695 diodes or the regular, silicon ones, which make the sound heavier and rougher. The pedal is decorated with an interesting design on a blue background, which matches the minimalism of its circuit.
- Requires stabilized 9V power supply (2.1/5.5 plug with “plus on the outside”)
- Can be used with a voltage higher than 9V, but not exceeding 18V.
- This effect uses full transistor saturation (the quality of power supply determines noise level).
?The level of guitarist’s experience on a five-point scale. The higher the level, the more skill the pedal requires.
?The level of distortion on a five-point scale.